Today, I want to explore melon seeds and how beneficial they are. Egusi as Nigerians call it, especially the Igbos is part of the water melon family. They grow in gourds which are mainly cultivated for their seeds as the flesh is neither sweet nor edible. To identify them, they are usually creamy, small and flat. One end of the seed is rounded while the other is tapered. After harvest, the gourds are left to ferment; the fermented flesh is then washed off the seeds. The seeds are then dried and the light brown husks removed by hand or mechanically. When ready to be used in food recipes, the white/cream seeds are ground into powder and used as soup thickener (allnigerianrecipes.com).
Ingredients and Directions
- 4½ cups (600g) Egusi (Melon) seeds
- 1 cooking spoon red palm oil
- Chicken breast
- Fish: Dry Fish and Stock Fish
- 3 tablespoons ground crayfish
- Pepper and Salt (to taste)
- Vegetable: Nigerian pumpkin leaves, spinach or bitter leaves
- 3 small stock cubes
- Before preparing the soup, soak the dry fish for about half an hour. If you are using the very tough stockfish, boil it for 20 minutes and leave in the pot with the hot water to soak for about an hour. If using the softer stock fish, you can just soak them in cool water till you can break them apart with your hands.
- When the fish and stockfish are soft, debone and break them into sizeable chunks.
- Much closer to your cooking time, grind the egusi with a dry mill. Grind the crayfish and the dry pepper separately and set aside. Wash the vegetable to be used. Cut into tiny pieces.
- Season and bring to boil your chicken, stock fish and dry fish in 1 litre of water with the stock cubes till they are well done.
- Add the red oil to your pot
- bring to a fry
- Add the egusi and stir while it fries, so it does not get burnt
- add your stock, crayfish and season to taste
- Add your vegetables last, once added to still enjoy the nutrients in your choice veggies, keep for 5 mins and the soup is set to serve.
I hope you loved this recipe…
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